Written by Sally McGrath
Dog, Dolphin, Elephant, Giraffe, Horse, Lion, Polar Bear, Tiger …. What’s the animal that attracts your attention? Consider the animals you have always loved, maybe even had as pets over the years or sponsored their preservation. Most of us have an affinity with a specific animal that represents meaning and possibly devotion in our world or spirituality.
Spiritual guides can present themselves to us in whatever way we are willing to see them, and it is natural for people to connect with theirs through the face of a familiar animal. You may find that you have one main power animal, or you could feel close to many animal spirit guides. Your animal guide(s) hold a particular quality that could help you navigate life with a bit more ease, faith, and confidence. Sounds odd, read on!
What Is My Spirit Animal?
To find out more about your spirit animal, here are three tips to identify yourself with the animal in you that represents your spirit animal.
1. What do your dreams say?.
Our dreams are intimately connected to our waking lives, so every time you see an animal in yours, write it down the next morning. Is there any particular animal that comes up again and again? That could be your spirit animal.
2. Think about your past connections to certain animals.
Did you have favourite animals as a child, growing up? The animal may have been a family pet or a wild animal that you followed and read stories about during this period of your life.
3. Journal about the animals that you feel drawn to.
Do animals seem naturally drawn to you? Do you light up each time you are connected to a specific animal? Consider how the interaction makes you feel and write about the experience with each animal to identify your spirit animal.
Our spirit animals have the ability to teach us about personal power and inner strength. Animals are also found to be beneficial for our holistic wellbeing and happiness, with a single interaction having the ability to reduce cortisol levels and prevent the “flooding” impact of a stress-related response. So next time you feel that anxiety within you, channel your inner spirit animal or lose yourself connecting with your beloved pet, note how you feel a few minutes after the interaction or distraction.
Something Fun to Try!
The link below takes you to a quiz to help identify your spirit animal. It is a fun and really simple way to connect with your spirit animal and take a few minutes out of your day to be curious and bring in some joy to your day. Joy and fun is something frequently missing in our adult lives, so try the test below at varying stages and see the animal you most resonate with. Does it vary or are you consistently aligned with the animal in you?
Spirit animals teach us about ourselves. They are thought to emanate the traits and strengths that we need to be honoring more in our own lives at a certain point in time. Remember that your spirit animal is something that may change depending on your current place in life and the ebbs and flows in life. Paying attention to the spirit animal could just be the best way to navigate your preventative health plan.
Animals and Illness
If you’ve had any experience with dogs, you’ll know they have a keen sense of smell. They sniff here and there trying to figure who’s been around, and they’re notorious for sticking their noses in places they shouldn’t! Dogs, compared to humans, have about 25 times the area of nasal olfactory epithelium (which carries receptor cells) and many thousands more cells in the olfactory region of their brain. Dogs can differentiate dilutions of one part per billion, follow faint odor trails, and are 10,000 times more sensitive than humans to certain odors.
At times of illness, dogs are sensitive to the human condition and tend to adapt to the energy of their owner, providing protection, love and care to their human best friend. Dogs identify when there is a wound site and seek to heal the wound by licking both themselves and the human. In cases of severe illness, dogs have been known to detect some cancers, behavioural traits become acute and the dog almost anticipates the attack or event their human companion is about to experience. Whilst there is the need for more research here, dogs can potentially become a component of the research to identify cancer in humans.
Popular Spirit Animals and their Qualities
Want to know more about what animal types mean? Here are some meanings to use as a guide in identifying with your human v animal instinct/s.
Bear is thought to be one of the most powerful. It is deeply emotional and feels a deep connection to the earth and the outdoors.
Cats symbolise curiosity, adventure, and independence. It has also mastered the art of patience.
Deer is a sensitive, highly intuitive spirit guide. It strikes a balance between confidence and success and gentleness and grace.
Owl is a spirit guide that has the ability to see what others miss. It sees the deeper meaning of things and discovers the hidden treasures in life.
Turtle is a highly spiritual guide that represents the journey toward wisdom, truth, understanding, and peace.
Tiger guides represent raw feelings and emotions. It is highly intuitive and great at following instincts.
Guiding You Through Challenges
Tapping into your spirit animal is more than fun, it could just be the guiding light and source of motivation you find to support you through life’s challenges. After all, as humans we’ve evolved from the primal stages of our early ancestors, rising from all fours to walk upright. This evolution provides us with the instinct to survive and reproduce.
At times of uncertainty, connection with animals can be one of the most powerful therapies, combating loneliness, and alleviating depression, reducing the risk of heart disease, and the symptoms of dementia.